Character Storm

I always assumed that everyone had random strangers approach them for conversation. I’ll be just minding my own business, reading Harry Potter or chattering away with E on the train and the person next to me/us needs to exchange life details. Or sometimes it’s the person standing beside me at the cross walk, asking how my day is and why I appear to be in such a good mood. E has informed me that it isn’t the norm and apparently the weirdos just come after me.

I thought maybe it was just in my head until Saturday rolled around. Or it could be that Red Bank is the breeding grounds for the friendly. I worked at Siam Garden that particular day (it’s a restaurant I have worked at off & on for years. Every so often I’ll go in for extra cash) so took the train into Red Bank kinda early with the intentions of walking around and basking in the sun for a bit. As I stepped off the train, I noticed a guy staring at me. Whatever. People stare, no big deal. While I walked and thought about where to go first, was abruptly interrupted by random dude from train, waving his hands trying to get my attention.

RDFT: Hey! Don’t I know you! Kristine right? KRISTINE! You dated PAUL!

Me: Paul? PAUL. Hmmm, Paul Paul Paul. OHHHH ok. Yes I did date Paul. Like SIX years ago (side note in my mind: how in god’s green earth did he remember me? I didn’t remember him. )

RDFT: It’s me, GUY!!

Me: Ohhhhh right right, Guy. Well…… how have you been?

Guy goes into his life, how he’s been working for a pool installation company for the past 4 years, how he lives down near the shore, how he doesn’t drive and only takes the train, and so on. Then he asked what’s new with me and my life, which I thought was stupid because it’s not as if he ever knew about it before hand. Unless Paul told him. But then again, he did remember me, so maybe he also remembered my life…. hmmm. I wonder. Well, through the pointless conversation, the only thing I was really interested in was: how was Paul doing anyway? You know, the actual link to Guy & I.

Guy: Well, Paul and I aren’t friends anymore. We uhh… drifted apart. He went away to school at the New School (to which I interrupted with a —–oooh! Does he live in the City…of course I was envisioning a reunion special with Paul).

“No no no”, said Guy, “he is back living in Colts Neck….I think. I mean we don’t really talk anymore.”

As we walked along, talked about the beach and the weekend, all very ladi-blah. Finally, we reached our fork in the road, so I said, “well nice to see you? Have a good day.”

I had a feeling he’d ask me for my number. Not to toot my own horn, but sometimes you can feel that vibe. And I was correct.

G: Well here, gimme your number, we can hangout or go to the beach sometime.

Me: I don’t live here. I don’t know when…..(stalling)

G: Come on! your going to be down one time or another and I’ll come up to visit you in the city!!

At this stage it’s clear: I’m guessing
a) he doesn’t get girls to talk to him as long as I did, which was basically due to the fact that he was walking in my direction. He thought conversation = long lasting relationship.

b) if he only intended on us hanging out once or twice, it was clearly just a ladidah sex thing. Um I was not attracted to him and had no desire in pursuing anything. PLUS isn’t it wierd that I dated someone he was once close with…And whom I would love to run into ….hmmm I don’t like the sounds of Guy.

So about 2-4 minutes of me protesting to give him my number, I said fine. FINE. I asked him if he had a phone to put my number in and he replied with, “well…..I don’t have a phone right now, so I’ll probably call you from a pay phone, if that’s OK with you..”

What did I say you wonder?

WHAT? Are you a pimp! Homeless?? Who uses pay phone any more. They are disease breeders! (bleh)

I’ve gotten two phone calls since from an unknown number and a message. How does it ALWAYS work that the ones you never want to hear from think you two are soul mates and the ones you pray to the good lord to hear from magically disappear?

ANYWAY, I walked away and started laughing to myself. It was all too much: between the train, the payphone, and Paul-friend citing, I had to call E (who never called me back, thanks alot)

Afterwards, I went to Zebu for gelato (omg amazing amazing) and decide to go browse through some stores. While in a shop, the girl who worked there called me out and exclaimed that she’s always wanted a tattoo on her foot, how lately it had been a shark, always wanted to see one and then I came in having it!

From here we got into a nice little Q & A about tattoos (which I love to talk about anyway) and where to go. This type of random character chatter is the kind I enjoy. It was cute because she was younger (maybe 18 or so) and genuinely excited. I wanted to hug her and take her under my wing.

The following day, E & I were heading to Panerra to work on some writing and I told her about my day and then—- WEIRD. The man behind us engaged himself in our conversation and then felt the need to talk about his weekend, his boat, where he lived and so on. 10 minutes later, I have his card in my hand and can’t help but be amused and grateful. What’s better for the girl that loves character than for them to love her too?

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